International Research Conference, Lancaster UK, 18 - 20 July 2016
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Locating Social Justice in Close-Up Research in Higher Education

Lancaster University, UK.

18th - 20th July, 2016

Key Dates

Submission of proposals: extended to 29th February, 2016
Notification of outcomes: 21 March 2016
Early Bird Registration deadline: 31 March 2016
Authors to submit full papers: 20th June 2016
Registration Deadline: 1 July 2016

About the Conference

Higher Education Close-Up is a peer reviewed biennial international conference, focused on issues relating to in-depth research into higher education. HECU8 takes place at Lancaster University on 18-20 July, 2016 and follows on from the very successful HECU7 also in Lancaster in July 2014. Higher Education Close Up is a virtual network of the Society For Research into Higher Education. The conference venue will be the luxurious Lancaster House Hotel, with accommodation for delegates in the hotel's ensuite rooms.

We are delighted to announce that Professor Jenni Case, Dr Jan McArthur and Professor Monica McLean have agreed to give keynote speeches to the conference.

For those coming from further afield, you might be interested in combining your trip to HECU8 with the Social Justice in Times of Crisis and Hope: Young People, Well-being and the Politics of Education from Wednesday 6th – Friday 8th July 2016, in Barcelona, Spain or the Higher Education Conference, which will take place in Amsterdam from 13th-15th July 2016 and has the theme ‘The Scholarship of Learning, Teaching and Organising’.

Conference Theme

The theme for HECU8 is ‘Locating Social Justice in Close-Up Research in Higher Education’.

This theme is intended to highlight the ways in which close-up research may illuminate and/or contribute to social justice within and through higher education. We consider close-up research to be distinguished by a “fine-grained” approach, in the sense that it reveals a detailed picture of an area rather than presenting information which is more superficial, less nuanced, but is drawn from a wider social field. Each of the keynote speakers has provided a think piece, which raises questions about different aspects of this theme. We ask that conference participants submit proposals for papers that in some way respond to these questions so that an interactive conversation can develop before, during and, we hope, after the conference.

The Call for Proposals outlines this process in more detail

Discussion List

The Higher Education Close Up discussion list is at: http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/HIGHER-EDUCATION-CLOSE-UP.html. Please join this list for conference announcements and to participate in ongoing discussions of in-depth higher education research.

Publications from the conference

As with previous conferences, we aim to put together a Special Issue of a journal based on selected papers from the conference. The papers will be selected on the basis of: a) academic quality and b) their contribution to making a coherent collection, taken together.

The publications from HECUs 2, 3, 4 and 5 and 7 were:

HECU 2 Prichard, C. and Trowler, P. (2003) (eds.) Realising Qualitative Research in Higher Education. Aldershot: Ashgate.

HECU 3 Trowler, P. (ed.) (2008) A Socio-Cultural Approach to Teaching, Learning and Assessment in Higher Education: A Special Issue. International Journal of Educational Research, 47, 3.   

HECU 4 Shay, S., Ashwin, P., and Case, J. (eds.) (2009) A Critical Engagement with Research into Higher Education: A Special Issue. Studies in Higher Education, 34, 4. 

HECU 5 Ashwin, P. and Case, J. (eds.) (2012) Special Issue QUESTIONING THEORY-METHOD RELATIONS IN HIGHER EDUCATION RESEARCH Higher Education Research and Development 31, 3.

HECU 7 Trowler, P. (ed) (2015) Special Issue: Close Up Research into Higher Education: Making a Difference. Higher Education Quarterly, 69,3.


The Tuesday Conference Dinner will feature live music (and dancing!):


Details on registration will follow. In the meantime details of submitting proposals and  the criteria for assessment are available by clicking 'Call for Papers' above. Deadlines are also available on that page. Please contact us if, for funding purposes, you need to submit an early proposal for a decision about acceptance.


The conference is being organised by Professor Paul Ashwin and Dr Jan McArthur at Lancaster and a committee comprising members of the epartment of Educational Research, Lancaster University. The conference adminstrator is Alice Jesmont. HECU8 will be brought to you through here@lancaster the Higher Education Research and Evaluation Centre.

Keynote Speakers:

Professor Jenni Case, University of Cape Town in South Africa

Dr Jan McArthur, Lancaster University

Professor Monica McLean, University of Nottingham

Find out more»


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SRHE Department of Educational Research Lancaster University